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MARIO VIGILANTE’S FASHION: TECHNOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS
“Il Viaggio” comes from an idea that has proved to be successful. It has gone from Pontedera, a Tuscan town in the province of Pisa, to the prestigious catwalks of the Pitti Uomo fashion show.
Mario Vigilante has worked in the world of fashion for over thirty years: he has been a designer for Giorgio Armani, the Fendi sisters, Versace and François Girbaud. Now, with his own company Supermario Son & Daughter, he has launched a new brand, with a collection of crease-resistant clothes called “Il Viaggio” which had great success on the men’s fashion catwalks of Florence last January.
How did you get the idea?
“I often travel for work and am very familiar with the problem of clothes that get crumpled in your suitcase. So I thought it would be a good and original idea to design some clothes made entirely with crease-resistant material that are able to survive a trip without creasing at all.
An ambitious project that has proved to be successful, making it all the way to the Pitti Uomo catwalks...
“Pitti Uomo is an important showcase and it was very exciting for me to take part in it: in some respects, I saw it as the result of how I have matured professionally. It is a shame that this unmissable opportunity took place during a time of overall economic crisis, otherwise I could have exploited it better”.
You are one of the few environmentally-friendly designers.
“Yes, for the Pitti Uomo catwalks I designed Ecoflage, the first biodegradable t-shirt. This is a t-shirt made 100 per cent with bamboo jersey and it is also antibacterial and hypoallergenic. I think that respect for the environment is a necessity that concerns everyone a little, and we must all play our part without backing out. With Ecoflage, I think I have made an important contribution to raising awareness of these issues”.
Which foreign markets is Supermario Son & Daughter targeting?
“My company employs 30 people and is family managed because my children work for it. But we like to think big. We found interest for our clothes in Germany and Northern Europe, but especially in Japan and the United States. These are the markets that we are giving priority to. We also view the future with optimism, because, despite the economic crisis, life goes on and sooner or later people will start buying quality clothes again like they used to”.
In your opinion, is the made in Italy fashion sector in crisis?
“I don’t think so, in fact I’d say that the opposite is true. Interest in the made in Italy fashion sector is returning: competition from the Chinese textile industry is strong, but you can see the difference with the clothes. I’m not only talking about textiles but also the quality of the production. Ours is better without a shadow of a doubt”.
What is Mario Vigilante’s next challenge?
More than a challenge I would call it a task. I have to work on the brand that I have just launched with my company: it is important to succeed in making this work and giving it as much attention as possible if I want to think about other projects that might be successful in the future”.